By James Monyluak De Mijok, Western Canada
April 18, 2012 (SSNA) — South Sudan Minster of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial has failed the Republic of South Sudan for a third time during critical times when his political role was highly expected at home (South Sudan) and around the world.
But before going deep in analyzing why comrade Nhial has failed his people diplomatically, I want to register my sincere gratitude, as many out there have done so to our SPLA gallant forces who have been doing a superb job since the beginning of the year 2012 when Khartoum was and still determined to interferes with the territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan.
The current military victories in Lake Jau and Panthou areas and elsewhere on North-South border are the great examples that SPLA has somehow developed (gained both strengths and ability) to protect the Republic of South Sudan from external aggressors.
I therefore thank Comrade Majak D’Agoot (Deputy Defence Minister) and commander of the SPLA’s fourth division in Unity State, James Gatduel Gatluak and the rest of other Commanders and strategists for the job well done. This is what is always expected of the people army — protection of the homeland and its people, both internally and externally. Many believe that our military victory is no limit if our armed forces are well equipped: Morally, physically, logistically, and psychologically.
The days ahead will be difficult as the war is getting logical and wider along the border areas. Khartoum will do everything it can to do destruction in the South as it has been always the case. There will be humanitarian consequences as a result of the conflict. These are prices of any war and South Sudanese have been paying all these prices all along since the first bullet shot on August 18, 1955 in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State. People of South Sudan will always count on SPLA and SPLA will always counts on its people. Aluta continua, victory is certain! SPLA oyee!
The expected Diplomatic role of Foreign Affairs Minister and International Co-operation
The solemn job of foreign affairs Minister is to explain, defend, and implement President’s policies in foreign countries. S/he can do so both during political crises or peace. Minister Nhial has served twice in GOSS during the interim-period: from 2005-2005 as Minister of Regional Cooperation and from 2008-2011 as Minister of defense. As many of you may recall, Minister Nhial has failed South Sudan diplomatically when he was supposed to represents the nation in such front. This is not a fabrication; all his leadership track records speak louder about this leniency during the interim period and this need not be repeated at this moment.
They say that perceptions are always reality, but not the truths. In other words, if Minister Nhial could go around the world, to inform and make the international community aware of why South Sudan had to defends itself from Republic of Sudan against illegal occupation, like what his counterpart (Ali Karti) is doing, the mounting pressure would not have been this much from the international community calling the current liberation of Panthou “illegal and unacceptable” and asking South Sudan troops to pull-out unconditional and immediately from Panthou area.
Minister Nhial role in then GOSS and now RSS
2005-2005: Minister of Regional Affairs & Cooperation
Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial was appointed Minister of Regional Cooperation Affairs in the Southern Sudanese cabinet in 2005 by President Salva Kiir. He however abruptly resigned from the cabinet less than six months later. There was no clear reason for his resignation so far up-to-date. I don’t want to get into details of what happen or why and how it happened. What matter most then, was for Nhial to be resolute and firm at the time rather than simply quitting when under enormous pressure of all kinds. Nhial was expected to go around the regional countries of Africa and the world so that to mobilize regional and international resources and expertise for the full implementation of the CPA, but fail to deliver.
2008-2011: Minister of defense
In December 2008, Nhial Deng Nhial was appointed Minister of SPLA and Veterans Affairs by the then President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, replacing General Dominic Dim Deng who died in a plane crash on the 2nd May 2008. This come after his short stay, 2-3 years probably in UK for school purpose, after which he graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Dundee in the UK in 2008.
Hon. Nhial was expected to address the insecurity matters at the time when political violence and anarchy were commonplace all over South Sudan and beyond. Nhial Deng Nhial, former Minister of defense was nowhere to be seen either on SSTV or in some spot areas such as that of military barracks talking to military commanders and the army as well during his tenure. He was so soft and lenient, especially when he was defense Minister in GOSS, and when security situations was getting worse day by day, month by month, and year by year in the lead up to 2011 Referendum vote for Southern Sudan in the South. He failed his national duties then during his tenure.
2011-Present: Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Nhial was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affair on August 26, 2011 after the succession of South Sudan from the old Sudan. His roles become more formal and in accordance with the international norm and standards this time around. This means that South Sudan Chief Diplomat, Hon. Nhial can educate the world leaders about peace and security, especially when South Sudan is under attack militarily by foreign aggressors such as Republic of Sudan.
Had he done that? Of course, not. Hon. Nhial has been silent since August 2011 when SAF and their bosses in Khartoum were creating political confusion and aggression here and there in North-South border areas. Comrade Nhial is again, failing the people of South Sudan diplomatically when he is expected to represents our nation and its people internationally.
Way forward: Benefit of being UN member
According to UN purposes and principles (Chapter 1) article 1 (2), “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.,” and In article 2 (4) “all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
Hon. Nhial needs to mobilize and build good relationship with the UN member’s states by going out there and tell them exactly what they should hear from RSS and not what Khartoum is telling them currently. He should go to New York, UNSC HQs and explain our position that South Sudan is not the one attacking or occupying Republic of Sudan territories, rather South Sudan is the one being attacked and defending or liberating areas illegally occupied by SAF. He has to counter-argue the mounting pressures from various countries and bodies telling RSS to “unconditionally and immediately withdraw from Panthou.”
He along with his subordinates needs to go out in big number to specific countries and institutions as such. They should target countries like US, UK, European Union, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Countries, Arab League, African Union, IGAD, Republic of South Africa, Russia and Scandinavian countries for that matter. Nhial needs to go to UNSC and make serious presentations about what is going on and not the distortions and disinformation employed and disseminated by those liars in Khartoum. Sitting in Juba and singing the song that “it is our land and we are not going to withdraw from it is not enough.”
The world needs to be told or taught again and again that Panthou area is deeply in the South, Sudan, and 70 KMs from 1/1/1956 North-South border.
Republic South Sudan should not contradicts itself
We should not also contradict ourselves in the media. President Kiir and other senior members in the government have said this repeatedly: “that we will not withdraw from Panthou unless UN deploy monitoring forces so that Khartoum does not uses this area as attacking ground into South Sudan.” This statement alone translates itself into something different. Why do we want to withdraw from Panthou with a condition of UN monitoring forces deployment if and when we believe that it is our territory? We should maintain one common position, that we are not going to withdraw from Panthou and we will defend it should SAF attempts to retake it. Any area believed to be part and parcel of South Sudan according to 1/1/1956 border, which have been already liberated should not be compromised for anything.
Previous mistakes should not be repeated this time
The previous mistakes of annexing Panthou (Heglig) to Abyei by Abyei Boundary Commission should not be repeated. The previous claim is the one that resulted into current situation at hand. Abyei should be treated as a separate area as it was and not be linked with any discussion or argument that has to do with Panthou. I have heard some quarters talking about possibility of SPLA withdrawal if SAF withdrew from Abyei, if I am not mistaken. Panthou is a purely South Sudan territory; it was not transferred to Southern Kordofan in 1905 when Abyei administration was transferred to the North.
Panthou and Abyei areas are ours, but have different status and we must maintain our presence in Panthou, whereas Abyei area dispute has to be resolved through different mechanism. In addition to this, Abyei sons should not be allowed to alter the current map of South Sudan by annexing some areas to Abyei area from Unity State such as Panthou…
South Sudan Minster of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial has failed the Republic of South Sudan for a third time during critical times when his political roles was highly expected at home (South Sudan) and around the world.
Hon. Nhial needs to mobilize and build good relationship with the UN member’s states by going out there and tell them exactly what they should hear from RSS and not what Khartoum is telling them currently. He should go to New York, UNSC HQs and explain our position that South Sudan is not the one attacking or occupying Republic of Sudan territories, rather South Sudan is the one being attacked and defending or liberating areas illegally occupied by SAF.
He has to counter-argue the mounting pressures from various countries and bodies telling RSS to “unconditionally and immediately withdraw from Panthou” He along with his subordinates needs to go out in big number to specific countries and institutions such. They should target countries like US, UK, European Union, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Countries, Arab League, African Union, IGAD, Republic of South Africa, Russia, and Scandinavian countries for that matter. Nhial needs to go to UNSC and make serious presentations about what is going on and not the distortions and disinformation employed and disseminated by those liars in Khartoum.
UN and other bodies should be told to bring their international border experts to come and demarcate the North-South border once and for all so that the two countries live in peace side by side.
If Minister Nhial is not going to deliver accordingly, I am afraid to say that Southerners would not expect anything less from Comrade Nhial than stepping aside and vacant the position for anybody else to deliver boldly and seriously, but I will leave it in the hands of Southerners and their government for now.
James Monyluak De Mijok Thon is Sociologist and Writer, living in Canada reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org